Williams and Lady Gators roll over Dutchtown

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Ne'Kyla Williams poured in 23 points for the Lady Gators in their win over Dutchtown. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

Dutchtown hung with St. Amant early, but then Ne'Kyla Williams took over.

Williams and the Lady Gators went on a 10-0 run before halftime to take control, and in the second half, they responded each time the Lady Griffins tried to make a run. Williams' four 3-pointers allowed them to notch their third straight victory, 47-34.

"It seems like things are finally starting to click," St. Amant head coach Kristy Englade said. "We lost a lot of close games initially. I think that helped in games like this. They gave us fits at the very beginning when we weren't really able to get open. We had a plan, but the plan didn't necessarily work, so we had to go to something different, and that opened up a lot. We were able to go inside out and get some good looks at the basket."

Despite being on the road, the Lady Gators got off to a hot start as they took the early 6-2 lead.

However, Dutchtown quickly responded with two quick buckets by Kyra Harleaux to tie the game in what was a very sloppy first quarter.

The second period started off slowly with both teams going cold from the field. Things finally picked up when Kelsie Baker came up with a steal and followed it up with a layup to give the Lady Griffins their first lead of the game.

Williams immediately responded for her team--drilling a 3-pointer that gave them the advantage. She kept the hot hand. Two more treys opened up a seven-point lead for St. Amant.

In the closing moments of the first half, Vanessa Thomas was good on a layup to complete a 10-0 run for the Lady Gators. The spurt gave them a 25-14 halftime advantage.

St. Amant continued to apply pressure to start the third quarter as they scored two straight buckets to up the lead to 15.

Dutchtown tried their best to fight back. Rachel Hearn scored two straight baskets inside to cut the deficit to 10, but Williams was there to answer. She drilled her final 3-pointer to push the advantage back to 13.

The Lady Griffins squandered many opportunities to catch up with multiple missed layups and plenty of turnovers.

Harleaux was able to cut the deficit to 10 heading into the fourth quarter after sinking a 3-pointer and then following it up with a steal and layup.

With the St. Amant lead down to 9 in the fourth, Williams finished off the Lady Griffins.

She drove in for a layup to push the lead back to 11 and sparked a Lady Gator 8-2 run that matched their biggest advantage of the night at 15. Williams then made back-to-back layups to balloon the lead to 18.

From there, St. Amant was able to cruise to the 47-34 victory.

Coach Englade thought the spurt the Lady Gators made before halftime was one of the deciding factors.

"That was tremendous because they had a little bit of a run there in the third quarter. That cushion allowed us to stay in control when they started hitting their shots," Englade said.

The loss was the second straight for the Lady Griffins after winning four in a row.

Dutchtown was led by Harleaux as she finished with 9. Baker had 8, and Hearn finished with 7.

Williams had a game-high 23 for the Lady Gators. Megan Melancon chipped in with 10.

The victory was the third straight for St. Amant and their sixth win in eight games.

"I think the senior leadership and experience is catching up with us a little bit," Englade said. "Over time, when you play this many games, things just start coming together and making sense."

The win gave St. Amant a 2-0 start in district play. On Thursday, they will host archrival East Ascension.